Calendar of Events

February was a blur. SF Beer Week has come and gone leaving many people depressed and yearning for more. Don’t worry, great stuff happens year round. The March calendar is just starting to take shape. More events are rolling in and will be included on the CALENDER portion of the BACB website. Check there for the latest and greatest events throughout the month.

March 1

Real Ale Night: Telegraph Brewing
7:00pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa, CA. (map)

Telegraph Brewing will be pouring their California Ale and Brown Ale on draft, a hoppy Amber in a firkin and Rhinoceros Rye Wine from 22 oz bottles.

March 2

Pizza & Beer Night: Telegraph Brewing
Call for time, Vinyl Wine Bar, 359 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA. (map)

Brewery Night: Ballast Point
6:00pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street, Oakland, CA. (map)

March 4

Drake’s First Friday
4:00pm, Drake’s Brewing, 1933 Davis Street, San Leandro, CA. (map)

Drake’s First Friday Events are fundraisers for local schools & non-profits, and are held at Drake’s the first Friday of every month. This Friday will benefit San Leandro’s James Madison Elementary School. $5 per person voluntary donation and $15 for a Drake’s tasting glass with 3 drink tokens.

March 19

16th Annual Fairfax Brewfest
12-6pm, Fairfax Pavilion, Fairfax, CA. (map)

17 of the finest breweries in the Bay Area together for one of the first, funnest, festive beer festivals of the season. Tickets: $25 advance, $30 day of event.

March 22

Deschutes Beer Pairing
6:00-9:00pm, Monk’s Kettle, 3141 16th Street, San Francisco, CA. (map)

Deschutes Brewery Chef Matt Neltner and Monk’s Kettle Chef Adam Dulye collaborate to deliver a menu made for beer. The special menu will be available to anyone visiting the restaurant. On tap will be a large variety of Deschutes beers including: The Abyss 2010, The Abyss, 2009, Black Butte XXI, Hop Henge Experimental IPA, Red Chair NWPA, Mirror Mirror, Jubel 2010, Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Green Lakes Organic Ale. Visitors will also have a chance to discuss the beers and brewing processes with Deschutes Brewery brewer Robin Johnson.

March 23

Brewery Night: Deschutes Brewing
6:00pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street, Oakland, CA. (map)

March 23-26

Craft Brewer’s Conference
Hilton Union Square, 333 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA. (map)

For professional brewers, CBC is the number one environment in North America for concentrated, affordable brewing education and idea sharing to improve brewery quality and performance. The conference is also a great social event with over 2,600 brewing industry professionals enjoying craft brews together.

March 25

15th Annual Battle of the Brews
5:00-9:30pm, Grace Pavilion, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa, CA. (map)

30 breweries and 20 different food vendors setup shop for this beer tasting for charity. Proceeds benefit the Youth Benevolent Fund. $40.

Lagunitas Sponsors USA Ski Jumping

Beer, advertising and sports have long been bedfellows. We drink beer while watching the big game as sponsors tempt us to consume more on billboards and TV. This is the bread and butter for mega brewers. They consistently dip into large advertising budgets that craft brewers can only dream of acquiring. The NHL and Major League Baseball command bidding wars, but less popular sports are an opportunity for craft beer.

One such case occurred last week when USA Ski Jumping announced a long-term partnership with Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma. The six-figure sponsorship will extend until the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi Russia and entitles the brewery to a presence at events and the right to produce co-branded apparel and products. One of those products will include a limited edition beer with a portion of the proceeds going back to the USASJ.

The deal will improve Lagunitas’ brand recognition as they continue to expand production and the reach of their products. Ski jumping is far more popular in Europe, a market that Lagunitas plans on entering in 2012. As for the USASJ, they now have a portion of the funds they need to strive for Olympic gold. The young team doesn’t receive any financial support from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, so equipment, coaches and the cost of travel is a personal expense unless sponsors help out.

From the USA Ski Jumping press release:

“We have always proudly supported our community and friends in need.  It was clear that the USASJ needed a few new friends,” said Lagunitas CMO Ron Lindenbusch. “This sponsorship is right in line with our basic philosophy – we try to find ways to turn beer into money to help the cause and we always seem to make a few new friends of our own along the way.”

“Lagunitas understands that they are much more than a sponsor. They’re a partner in helping grow the ski jumping sport out of the margins and onto the front page,” said USASJ Executive Director Jeff Hastings. “We are thrilled to have them. They have a broad and growing market and a very loyal customer base we hope to engage.”

Toronado Barleywine Festival 2011

You have to pace yourself during SF Beer Week or you won’t reach the finish line at Toronado. Each year this Haight Street institution in San Francisco gathers some of the best barleywine produced on the West Coast and attracts throngs of salivating people. This year was no different on February 19 and 20, but the rain diminished the Saturday morning line that started forming at 7:00am, three hours before the scheduled opening.

One group brought a round of cheese to compliment the beer.

The double-sided beer list chronicled fifty different options (see below) and all were priced at $3 or $4 depending on pour size. Early birds who grabbed a table or seat at the bar arranged rows of glassware filled with their selections while the remaining throng filled six packs with tasters and squeezed through the crowd. A few scarce beers emptied out by mid-afternoon, but few people seemed disappointed. After all, just a few of these high ABV beers will ease any tension.

Beer Name

Old Stock 2009
Big Woody
Big Foot
Mirror Mirror
Old Boardhead
Angel’s Share Grand Cru
Good Ass
Old Thunderpussy 2009
Old Embalmer
Barleywine 2009
Old Guardian
Olde School
Critical Hit
Olde Bluehair
Old Foghorn
Old Dipsea 2008
Old Scoutters
Old Godfather
Lower de Boom
Hog Heaven
Drunken Horn
Old Blowhole
John Barleycorn 2010
Jack & Ken’s Ale
Vertical Jewbelation
Triple Exultation
Old Diablo
Three Sheets
10 Squared
Gnarleywine 2009
John Barleycorn 2009
Bunny’s Toes
Old Okole
The Menace
Grateful Dog
Arctic Devil
Wood ya Honey


North Coast Brewing
Glacier Brewhouse
Sierra Nevada Brewing
Deschutes Brewery
Full Sail Brewing
Drake’s Brewing
Lost Abbey
Full Circle Brewing
Magnolia Pub & Brewery
Widmer Brothers Brewing
Green Flash Brewing
Moylan’s Brewery
Stone Brewing
Dogfish Head
Ninkasi Brewing
Big Sky Brewing
Anchor Brewing
El Toro Brewing
Marin Brewing
Mill Valley Beerworks
Bear Republic Brewing
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
21st Amendment Brewing
Avery Brewing
Anderson Valley Brewing
Kona Brewing
Anderson Valley Brewing
Six Rivers Brewery
Mad River Brewing
Lost Coast Brewing
Sierra Nevada Brewing
Half Moon Bay Brewing
Schmaltz Brewing
Eel River Brewing
Schooners Brewery
Ballast Point Brewing
Fifty Fifty Brewing
Fish Brewing
Lagunitas Brewing
Mad River Brewing
Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse
Seabright Brewing
Epic Brewing
Ale Industries
Firestone Walker
Iron Springs Pub & Brewery
Napa Smith  Brewery
Midnight Sun Brewing
Jackie O’s Brewpub

Drake’s Brewing Throws Old Fashioned Pig Roast

Beer and food pairings abound during SF Beer Week. Either throw a dart at the schedule or pick your artery clogging poison. Chocolate, cheese and cupcakes are a delectable option or you can vie for a seat at an elaborate dinner. Bay Area Craft Beer decided to venture into the East Bay this week for a more down home-style event at Drake’s Brewing. It’s their first year as a major sponsor and they hosted a Sau & Brau party to celebrate at the brewery in San Leandro.

The event took place on a chilly Wednesday night thanks to a winter storm that blew in just in time for beer week. Before the doors opened at 6:00pm, attendees huddled around glowing embers roasting the special guest. The Chop Bar in Oakland prepped and cooked the pig along with several sides and desserts that were on the menu. Drake’s offered a selection of their flagship beer during happy hour and paired 6 barrel-aged beers with the food. Everything cost a mere $40.

The industrial space managed to be a warm and cozy respite from the cold. Guests were greeted with festive lights and long dinner tables stretched between aging barrels. During the first hour three taps poured Drakes IPA, 1500 and the seasonal Imperial IPA called Hopocalyspe, while patrons chatted and perused the tall stacks of packaged beer and brewing equipment.

After a brief introduction from a member of Drake’s sales staff, dinner was served at 7:00pm in an orderly fashion. Guests gathered in a short line where the Chop Bar staff dolled out a spoonful of salad, potatoes, grilled flat bread and a portion of the succulent hog that beautifully dressed the table. The ferocious clatter of the cleaver slicing through meat and bone into the butchers block was not for the faint of heart.

Once the food was portioned out a selection of barrel-aged beer complimented the roasted flavor depending on your preference. You could pick just one or try them all. The list included:

  • Hooked on Drakonics, a 2009 Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels (10.5% ABV).
  • Barrel Droop, a 2008 Barleywine also aged in bourbon Barrels (11.5% ABV).
  • Aged Barrel Droop, which spent two years in steel barrels (10.5% ABV).

If guests didn’t have their fill with a second serving of the main course, dessert finished off their appetite at 8:00pm when two different cakes were paired with two sour beers. BACB chose the Red Velvet cake and sampled the following beers inoculated with brettanomyces.

  • Brett Butler, a Belgian Triple aged 14 months in Pinot Noir barrels.
  • Sauer Brauer, a blend of Belgian blonde and Drake’s Amber aged in Merlot barrels.

Following the wonderful meal everyone mingled and compared notes. Judging by the comments, its safe to say everyone left full and happy. If your taste buds are chomping at the bit, unfortunately you’ll have to wait for Sau & Brau to occur again next year during SF Beer Week.

Little Breweries Draw Big Crowd

When the staff opened Social Kitchen & Brewery on Sunday night the line waiting to get in stretched for nearly a city block. Nine up and coming hombrewers, looking to make the professional leap, managed to draw an insatiable crowd for the Breweries of Tomorrow, Nanobrewery Festival in San Francisco. The turnout and feedback left the organizers stunned and brewers ecstatic.

The doors opened up at 5:00pm and the Social Kitchen staff moved festivalgoer’s inside as fast as possible. Once they swapped $15 for a commemorative glass they tore into the wide range of beer from 510 Brewing, Beltane Brewing, Bosworth Brewery, Elizabeth Street Brewery, Local Brewing Company, Orange & Black, Pacific Brewing Laboratories, Petaluma Hills Brewing Company and Van Houten Brewing. Attendees also received tickets for two pours from the Strong Beer Social menu offered by Rich Higgins, the Social Kitchen brewmaster.

The breweries were spread out in groups of three near the front door, by the kitchen and up on the mezzanine, which kept the crowd moving and wait times for beer minimal. Brewers were able to field questions from inquisitive drinkers who had a lot of beer to choose from.

  • Bosworth Brewing had Redwood Best Bitter, Mish Mash IPA & Pond Hopper Brown ale.
  • Orange & Black brought a firkin of Bitter.
  • Elizabeth Street Brewery offered a stout called Daddy’s Chocolate Milk.
  • Van Houten Brewing poured a California Common.
  • Local Brewing Company tapped a corny of Sutro Tower Stout.
  • Pacific Brewing Laboratories brought a Hibiscus Saison.
  • Beltane Brewing went with an Imperial IPA, Belgian Strong & Dubbel.
  • Petaluma Hills offered a Porter, Belgian Blonde, a Honey Nut Brown, and a Stout.
  • 510 Brewing poured an Imperial Red (IRA) and a Peppermint Porter.

Left to right: Travis Smith, Dean Hoffman & Xon Cisneros of 510 Brewing with Bryan Hermannson & Patrick Horn of Pacific Brewing Laboratories.

Left to right: Alan Atha of Beltane Brewing, Regan Long from Local Brewing Co. & JJ from Petaluma Hills Brewing.

Left to right: Richard Brewer-Hay of Elizabeth Street Brewery with the Bosworth Brewing crew, Antony Field, Caroline Field & Justin Lokitz.

James Davids & Kim Sturdavant of Orange & Black.

Johnny & Creek of Van Houten Brewing Company.

The beer supply lasted into the evening in light of the huge demand and generous pours. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the 200 pieces of special glassware that disappeared by 6:00pm, when the price of admission dropped to $10 as a result.

Due to the tremendous turnout you can expect this event to continue in 2012. The need for advance tickets and a larger venue will be evaluated. In the meantime, organizers want to thank attendees for their patience and for coming out to support your Bay Area brewers.